New Year, New York!


There’s no room

for amateurs in New York,

even in crossing streets.

George Segal




A most grand welcome to your exciting 2018, My Sweets–How thrilling to imagine the  brave adventures and fun people you’ll meet simply crossing over to the other side of the street!

So proud to feature this Powerful Goddess who truly embodies the great courage behind the New York anthem, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere!” Having left the comforts of home to move to this far away continent and be with the man she adored, she’s had to keep stepping forward after Prince Charming turned out to have too much baggage for anyone to bear. A finance whiz with fabulous charm, graceful curves, and a natural magnet for fun, her 2018 definitely looks better than bright.

What’s her secret, you ask? Style wise, it’s not terribly hidden since she wears it with elegant nonchalance in her portraits here. She attributes her divine posture to corsets and swears they always make her feel hugged, protected, and even strengthened in low moments. Her shopping advice: Be careful with cheap corsets sold on Amazon and on Corset Story. They aren’t comfortable, dig in the skin and don’t give a good curve. They can turn you away from using corsets at all. Better wait for discounts on Timeless Trends (see resource list below)!

Choosing The Best Corset


Why suffer in the 21st century?  Choose comfort first in corset style and see which works best for you:

  • Over bust – can be worn as an elegant top (as seen on the Powerful Goddess here)
  • Under bust – sits under the bra line, can be worn over clothing as a wide belt
  • Long Line – for the longer torso length
  • Short style – for the short torso
  • Rubber or Latex compression cinchers – good for working out

There are so many beautiful choices in fabric and design to fit your mood from sweet ruffles and bows to taunting leather and buckles.


To discover your best size, note the following measurements pulling the tape measure taut, but not tight:

  • Your waist just above your belly button. Determine where your waist naturally bends to match the bend of the corset.  Choose a corset size larger than your waist so you can breathe, eat as you wish and wear a shirt or dress underneath for styling options.
  • Your upper hip if you like long corsets
  • Your torso circumference under your bust line
  • If you like the over the bust corset, measure your bust at the fullest part

The right corset length depends on your torso length, not your full body height.  In the end, it’s a matter of personal comfort and choice.

Breaking in your Corset

  • Lay the corset out flat and gently open the laces until fully extended
  • Put your corset on by closing the front busk, starting in the middle and then working your way up and down the length of it
  • Position the corset so it sits on your torso comfortably
  • Now pull the laces until the corset is snug, not tight, and create your best shape

Your corset will slowly adapt to your body and you will be able to wear it as long as you choose. Just have fun with it!

For your convenience, these are the best corset shops online:

  • Orchard Corset  Offers a great selection of steel-boned corsets for both the beginner and the experienced waist trainer
  • Timeless Trends  Their corsets are made with high-quality steel busks, spiral steel stays, and boning with a lifetime guarantee.  Check out their men’s collection.
  • Hips and Curves   Plus size corsets from Southern California
  • Meschantes Corsetry  Their website has an easy to shop photo layout
  • Isabella Corsetry  Special order and in-stock Victorian, Edwardian and bridal items in velvet, brocade, silk, and lace fabrics
  • What Katie Did  The worlds’ leading brand of Vintage Lingerie, 6 Strap Garter Belts, Corselettes and Girdles, Steel Boned Corsets and Fully Fashioned Stockings.
  • Dark Garden  The best in custom & off-the-rack corsets, dresses & wedding gowns
  • Vollers  Classically designed & handmade in the UK since 1899. The finest range of luxury corset tops, black corsets and fashion corsets online.
  • Fairy Gothmother  Another British company   

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your best hopes for the year ahead!












Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a two hour photo shoot of up to three people:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman


The Golden Girl

The true New Yorker secretly believes that

people living anywhere else

have to be, in some sense, kidding.

John Updike


This Powerful Goddess has a thing for moody portraits, yet she has that joie de vivre and a smile more sunshiny than her halo of golden hair.  As a European, she had always dreamed of living like a local in New York City.  What to do with the minor glitch of having a devoted husband whose career didn’t allow for an extended sabbatical?

“I want to live in New York for awhile,” she blurts over their dinner for two last year.

“Say that again?” her husband couldn’t be sure he heard her right.

But he did.  And knowing that this has been a big item on her bucket list, he helped figure out how to make her Manhattan adventure possible: living on her own this side of the Atlantic, taking classes to learn new skills, and expanding her world with new friends along the way.

Now that she’s back home celebrating the next chapter of her fabulous life, these portraits count among her favorite souvenirs of how well she welcomed her golden age, thanks to her great courage and her husband’s grand gesture of love and generosity.

The happiest of birthdays to you, Powerful Goddess!  You must tell your darling man he is a gem truly worth his weight in gold while I practice saying to my husband “I’d like to live in Europe for awhile.” 😉

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share who has opened your eyes to golden possibilities.







Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Summer Fun In The City

Deep summer is

when laziness finds respectability.

Sam Keen


When the heat is on, the fun turns up around New York City!  Here are a few things to add to your summer calendar if you’re lucky to be in town:

The 9th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party

The Jazz Age Lawn Party was originated by Michael Arenella, the leader of the Dreamland Orchestra, steeped in the hot-dance band tradition of the 1920s and early 1930s. On Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 11:00 am (Governors Island 10 S St Slip 7, New York, NY), Governors Island steps back in time to celebrate the Jazz Age era with attendees wearing their flapper vintage best.

Shakespeare in Central Park

This is really the summer to brush up your Shakespeare. Before the endless lines begin for the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park production of “King Lear,” starring John Lithgow, observe Simon Russell Beale as directed by Sam Mendes. “King Lear” hasn’t been staged in Central Park since 1973 with James Earl Jones. Annette Bening as Goneril ups the ante (July 22-Aug. 17, at the Delacorte Theater.  And when I’m in Central Park, I simply must dine at the Boathouse!

Etiquette School of New York

Make your first impression count by polishing your personal brand and mastering the do’s and don’ts of cocktail parties at the Etiquette School of New York (200 East 64th Street, Manhattan, June 26, $575,

Outdoors at Lincoln Center

If you missed the best outdoor dance parties of Midsummer Night Swing, Lincoln Center continues the summer celebration with a variety of shows and concerts the rest of the summer:  Dan Zanes and Peter Yarrow are among the singers for a Pete and Toshi Seeger memorial concert (July 20), Roberta Flack (July 26) and Rosanne Cash (Aug. 9), and nights of poetry and dance (July 20-Aug. 10, free, The classical music heard during Mostly Mozart, of course, is not all Mozart. The monthlong extravaganza begins with the premiere of John Luther Adams’s Inuit-influenced “Sila: The Breath of the World” and makes room for a premiere work by the Mark Morris Dance Group (July 25-Aug. 23).

Queen of the Night

On Broadway until August, treat yourself to intimate encounters with the comely cast members of Queen of the Night. Every individual’s experience will be different if you happen to be chosen by any of the “butlers”–show wranglers who spirit customers away for private encounters. Your hand may be kissed, fondled or perhaps placed on a naked hip. You may find yourself  familiarly stroked as you wander the rooms of the lavishly restored Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe nightclub in the basement of the Paramount Hotel on West 46th Street.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add what’s on your NYC summer calendar.  Stay cool!

xoxox _S5A4216NYC-NJ-Empire-State-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke _S5A4092NYC-NJ-Empire-State-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke _S5A4239NYC-Summer-Sharon-Birke-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits   _S5A4328NYC-NJ-Empire-State-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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